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Success for gender equality

Published: 15 March 2018

A well-attended conference on examples and tools for practical gender mainstreaming has put an end to the first Gender Contact Point project. Questions about gender, gender equality, diversity and innovation were discussed by companies, researchers and other actors.

Although the conference was the end point of the project, it was not the last Gender Contact Point day. The ambition is that such an arrangement will be an annual recurring feature at the university.

– It is an important meeting place for companies, other community actors and researchers, says Paula Wennberg, Project Manager at the Center for Distance-Spanning Technology, CDT, and the Gender Contact Point Coordinator.

– The initial project is over but out work with Gender Contact Point will continue. The knowledge and networks that the project has created and built up must of course be used in the future.

Theory becomes practice

During the conference, representatives from both companies and the university participated. Silje Gustafsson is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing and from her perspective the day was both inspiring and instructive.

– One thing I really take with me is the recruitment issues. At the Department of Health Sciences we aim for equal recruitment, and it is mainly boys who are underrepresented on our programmes. We are constantly discussing how we can attract more men to our programmes and how we to create a safe and inspiring learning environment in order to make the students stay, says Silje Gustafsson.

Even with regard to her own research, Silje Gustafsson believes that the conference gave her important tools. For example, hands-on examples of how research results can be further developed.

– In general, knowledge about how to integrate research results into healthcare is needed, and Gender Contact Point is a brilliant example of how it can be done, says Silje Gustafsson.

Companies learned lessons on gender

One of the IT companies that participated in the project is Tromb. According to Trombs Andreas Nilsson, the company's commitment to the project has been successful, not least their work on avoiding stereotypes.

– During the project we have worked with our recruitment process and imagery and we will continue to update our working methods in those areas, says Andreas Nilsson, Tromb.

– We will also bring our experiences to our customers with the intention of raising their awareness of gender issues, which I believe will enhance their competitiveness.

Andreas Nilsson also points out the benefits of the project: that companies learn from the academy and the academy learns from companies.

– It has been very rewarding to us, and I also think we have contributed a lot of input. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the university.